Do something awesome. For free.

I've spent the last month blogging and surfing the indie web. It's still so new to me I can't shut the fuck up about it. You'll have to excuse me, because before that, I spent a lot of time scrolling Reddit, YouTube, TikTok, big news publications, listening to big commercial podcasts and watching tv.

I've been on Mastodon for a few years and Lemmy for the last year or two. Those two sites were really my only exposure to the indie web, and even then most of the stuff being shared is the same stuff you'd find on Twitter or Reddit, bar crypto currency nonsense and other celebrity techbro junk.

Since starting this whole blogging thing, I've noticed something that doesn't really change across all the personal blogs I've been reading.

No one's trying to sell me anything.

If someone talks about a product they like, there's no affiliate link. If I come across a post full of blogging tips or how to do something with CSS, no one's trying to sell me their e-book or master course. There are no banner ads, or pop-ups or cookie consent forms sliding up from the bottom of the page to obscure the thing I was just in the middle of reading.

It's been nice. This is the internet I want to participate in.

It only works like this as long as there are people doing something they love because they actually love it. Not because they want to be the next Arianna Huffington or turn their website into the next TechCrunch. Not because they want to build a business, but because it brings them joy, and it's something they can be proud of. And the longer you do it, the more you start to build a little network of other bloggers you vibe with and you find better, smaller, non-commercial alternatives to a lot of the big commercial websites and news outlets.

I don't mind a tip jar. Tip jars are nice. They just sit there, out of the way. Unobtrusive. I've never seen a ko-fi link slide in from the left and lock an article behind a paywall until I sign up for a recurring $30 donation every month.

I think you should donate to creators you love. If someone's selling something they made, or some art, or music you should buy it if you like it. Plenty of these blogs and social media accounts offer this stuff but they aren't spamming you with it to try and maximize profit at all costs. I like that.

Maybe I could have chosen a better title, I dunno. I think it's awesome if you can make money doing something you love. Just don't be obnoxious about it. Oh and support small creators <3